Google faces a lawsuit in Texas. The Attorney General accuses the company of having collected and used biometric data from millions of Texans since 2015 without the required consent.
This is reported by the New York Times, referring to a press release by Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton.
Google is now to answer in court for allegedly collecting a large number of biometric identifiers for more than seven years with products and services such as Google Photos, Google Assistant, and Nest Hub Max without sufficiently educating users, let alone themselves to get approval. This also applies to voice patterns and recordings of facial geometry.
More Lawsuits Globally?
If the allegations can be proven in court, it would be a more egregious scandal that could have far-reaching repercussions.
It would be a violation of the federal Biometric Data Protection Act (also known as the US’s “Capture or Use of Biometric Identifier Act”), which requires companies to obtain user consent when capturing their biometric identifiers. This includes retina or iris scans, fingerprints, voice prints, and other recordings of hand or face geometry.
“For more than a decade, Texas has banned companies from collecting biometric data from Texans — including the unique characteristics of an individual’s face and voice — without their informed, prior consent,” the prosecutor’s statement said. “In flagrant violation of this law, Google has been collecting biometrics from countless Texans since at least 2015 and using their faces and voices for Google’s commercial purposes.”
Paxton has already filed other lawsuits against Google, including for breach of privacy. In January 2022, the Texas prosecutor sued Google for violating the Texas law on fraudulent trade practices and consumer protection. Paxton filed another lawsuit alleging fraudulently tracking the location of Google users without consent and using location data for targeted advertising.
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